Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Anita Baker: The Songstress [Beverly Glen, 1983]
In a time when the only black people with the guts to go for the soul are Mississippi recidivists and moldy oldies, this L.A. sophisticate has the audacity to pretend she can make pop music out of the shit. The violin and woodwind touches hark back to when soul had something to sell out with, the jazzy guitar comps look forward to when it'll storm the big rooms, the funky bottom bespeaks commitment, the hooky songwriting bespeaks smarts, and the voice sings. B+